LSB says BSB diversity action plan ‘presents some risk’

The Legal Services Board (LSB) has flagged concerns over the Bar Standards Board (BSB) proposals to exclude chambers with fewer than 10 staff from diversity data publication.

In the BSB Action Plan published today (31 May 2012), it proposed that chambers with fewer than 10 staff will not have to publish their data, while in chambers where there are less than 10 individuals in a particular category they will be able to redact that part of their data.

In its assessment of the diversity action plan, the LSB stated that the latter proposal, “will reduce the number of chambers who will be able to publish their data and impact upon the delivery of the transparency objective”.

It continues: “The BSB has also provided a similar exemption for chambers employing less than 10 staff overall, which we understand may affect up to almost a quarter of chambers.

“The extent to which the BSB delivers the expectations in the guidance is dependent on the willingness of chambers to collect and publish data, and the willingness of individuals to consent to publication of their data. Although this is the case for all of the regulators, we consider the BSB’s guidance presents some risk.”

The LSB revealed its radical plans to force law firms and barristers’ chambers to reveal social mobility data on their websites last year (26 July 2011).  

The news follows the LSB approving the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s plan to delay publication of law firm’s diversity data until 2013 (31 May 2012).